A Case of Noir by Paul D. Brazil takes readers on a dark and twisted road through five chapters. Even though each one is a fairly contained short story, the five chapters link together to form a complex tale featuring Luke Case.
Except his name isn’t really Luke Case. Not that readers know that as the first installment, “Red Esperanto” opens. Instead, readers know it is Warsaw in winter and our narrator prefers Jack Daniels with Coke only after he is so drunk already that he shouldn’t be drinking at all, a Ukrainian hooker by the name of Tatiana, and hanging out with a fellow ex-pat by the name of Sean Bradley. Sean has his reasons why he drinks heavily as does Luke and their lives are going to be intertwined as the months and pages pass.
It is while with Sean in their favorite watering hole, “Rory’s Irish Pub” that the stunning C. J. walked in very late one night. Known as Crazy Jola, she is the wife of Robert Mohawk who is a mid-level a gangster of some repute. Despite being warned off about his reputation as well as hers, Luke manages to talk her into a drink and eventually quite a lot more.
Considering his past, he should have stopped while he was ahead. A Case of Noir is a complicated stylistic read full of visual imagery that moves across Europe adding and dropping people and clues as it goes. While Luke Case has a fake name and a fake cover he has his vices no matter what and that means he leaves a trail in his wake. A complicated dark trail as strikingly depicted on the cover with the maze and one that isn’t at all easy to figure out from start to finish.
A Case of Noir
Paul D. Brazill
Paperback (also available e-book)
E-book version supplied by the author some time ago in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014